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Good Bad Not Evil

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iTunes Review

Despite their reputation as venue trashing avatars of sweaty debauchery and roaring garage rock chaos, the Black Lips possess a strikingly appealing pop sensibility and a knowing sense of humor that charmingly offsets their hedonistic poses. This is a band whose freewheeling carelessness reminds the listener that rock and roll is first and foremost about unbridled fun and youthful exhilaration. On Good Bad Not Evil they channel the gleeful incompetence and snarling but cutely precocious badinage of a thousand nameless teen combos from decades past. Thankfully the Black Lips are not content to be pegged as also ran garage revivalists, and the chiming chords of “Cold Hands”, and the hummable chorus of the stomping “Bad Kids” owe as much to New Zealand pop merchants The Clean as to the garage staples to whom the band are constantly compared. Though the album is marred by a few half-hearted excursions into moonshine drenched faux-country, the Black Lips sense of fun is so contagious that one can’t help but snicker along with the maudlin honky-tonk of “How Do You Tell A Child Someone Has Died.” While other bands drown in po-faced self-seriousness, the Black Lips continue to create albums full of transcendent trash with a laugh and a smile.

Customer Reviews

How does no one hear Lou Reed?

Lock and Key sounds strikingly similair to Run, Run, Run by the Velvet Underground. Not lyrically, and not necesarilly musically, but rather the overall feel. I'm surprised no one has made refrence to the VU. I hear a little bit of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in there too, and maybe a ghost of Bob Dylan or Beach Boys surf era. Everyonce in awhile there's a breath of Dick Dale... but maybe its just me.

The Highs Are Very High, The Lows Are Cool If Under The Influence...

Good Bad Not Evil is Black Lips "crossover" if you must. They are still being themselves, but definitely cleaned up their sound a lot. They are no where near crossing over into the terrible thing we call the music industry, but a few songs in this bunch are really catchy for any fan of music. Put it like this; if you like the song "I Saw A Ghost (Lean) more than "Bad Kids" then get their album before this one, "Let It Bloom", ASAP. This album as a whole is a good, trippy, flower-power style pschedelic rock reminiscent of the hippie-era. Here are the key tracks to download: O Katrina -- Kicks off with a powerful base line and turns into a catchy, upbeat song with great guitar work. Veni Vedi Vici -- Very catchy hippie track with 60's psychedelia wrapped around some chilling guitar strums throughout the song. It Feels Alright -- A hypnotizing song about an LSD trip. You have to check this one out because the guitar melody is absolutely hypnotizing. Lock and Key -- Probably the strongest track on the album, its bluesy creepiness is irresistable and the course is great too! Don't skip this one. Cold Hands -- Hands down the catchiest song out of the bunch, "Cold Hands" has outstanding hippie guitar chords throughout. This is probably the most normal song from the album.

Spawned from an American Garage

Previously, a reviewer drew a line from TBL to the Velvet Underground. Nah, I say. This is Nuggets-worthy garage rock a lá The Fugs, Troggs and early Mothers of Invention. Blenderized with (as another reviewer noted) a dose of Dead Milkmen plus a whole lot of originality! Right! Which brings us to the most important point I can muster: Comparing today's bands to yesterday's bands is kind of futile. Sure, it's nifty keen-O to be attuned to what came before; but every band deserves to be heard on its own merits. The Black Lips play with unabashed honesty and integrity in every note. They deserve all kudos for that first and foremost. Everything else is icing on their cupcakes.


Formed: 2000 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Playing garage-flavored punk rock with a Southern accent, a messed-up and bluesy undertow, and the gleefully destructive impact of a 15-year-old with a bag of firecrackers, the Black Lips are an Atlanta-based combo who, after their debut in 2000, soon developed a reputation as one of the Peach State's wildest bands. The Black Lips consisted of Cole Alexander on lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica, Ben Eberbaugh on lead guitar, Jared Swilley on bass, and Joe Bradley on drums, when they released their...
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